Monday, May 21, 2012


Fietsrondje! Looks like a perfect spring day. A bit cool: it won't break 60° F but crystal clear and sunny, just a few clouds. I've chosen a fiets route that's easy to reach: the Leusderheideroute. Now that I am staying in De Pijp, in east Amsterdam, it's a cinch to reach Amstel Station. From there, it will take me under an hour to get to Maarn, the departure point for the journey, a 32km loop.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Zeeland Revisited - Day 5

Leaving Burgh-Haamstede, I enter the Binnenduin van Schouwen (inland dunes), a historically overgrazed zone, now given over to nature, heather, snipes, owls. A sandy path stretches along a row of low trees, black birds darting from branch to branch. This section of protected dunes area stretches 4km to the north coast of Schouwen.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Zeeland Revisited - Day 4

Burgh-Haamstede installation.

This is turning out to be not so much a cycling trip as a beachcombing trip. I haven't actually done much cycling, no more than 20km per day. Riding along the Oosterscheldekering, the 9km bridge/flood barrier that connects Noord Beveland to Schouwen, I came across the beach at Neeltje Jans. I found myself a nook in the dunes fringed by beach grass and have no other intention but to hang out here for the day. It is a remote beach and it's Monday so the place is practically deserted. The Indian summer continues though it's slightly cooler and breezier today. But the sky is now clear, the bright sun hot.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Zeeland Revisited - Day 3

Breezand beach, Zeeland

The next day is just as great and again the marathoners are out. This time it's walkers. Thousands upon thousands of them, like Mao's Long March. But this march is voluntary; the Dutch are just naturally socialistic I guess. They're marching by now as I watch them from my sand crest at Oostkapelle beach. Many wear caps and have blue-and-white striped flags sticking out of their packs. It is a seemingly endless line; the flow of people has been going continuously for hours.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Zeeland Revisited - Day 2

Glorious morning, as expected. As I was preparing a simple breakfast (no eggs despite the abundance of chickens and turkeys on this little farm), Bram came in, in his pajamas, surveyed the inside of the trailer and gave me a contemptuous grin. I said "goede morgen," realizing I would get no response.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Zeeland Revisited - Day 1

Grazin' in the grass above Walcheren canal
This time I am dispensing with the prescribed fietsrondjes--did not even pack one of the guides--and making my own route. It will start in Middelburg and take me back to Vrouwenpolder (miraculously, Franziska's trailer had not been booked for the weekend) via Veere, a ride (or walk, actually) that had been recommended to me by Conny in Middelburg. But mainly I want to enjoy Zeeland's golden sands and blue sea, which I neglected last time around. And the weather--hovering in the low 70s--should be just right.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Zeeuwse Strand- en Landroute - Day 4

Goes, after the storm.

Last night it stormed, hurricane winds and pouring rain, as I lay in bed in the home of the Bruels, my vrienden op de fiets in Kloetinge, a village east of Goes (pronounced choos with a guttural ch). The Bruel family was very kind to me. Meneer Renin has Parkinson's disease and is on a steady regiment of drugs. His wife Cobi has been taking care of him for the past 20 years. To keep himself busy Renin designs things on his computer. He can't pick up his pen but he can use a mouse.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Zeeuwse Strand en Landroute - Day 3

Beach bloomers

Now on the bridge, or dike, across the Veerse Meer to Noord Beveland. Another incredible hot summer day. Strip of beach all along the north side of the dike--deserted, separated from it by grassy dunes. Yellow flowers and orange berries amongst the dune grass foliage. On the south side, below, is the road and a waterfront recreation area along the top of the Veerse Meer, which the dike encloses.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Zeeuwse Strand en Landroute - Day 2

Bike saddlebags for sale at Westkapelle street market

First part of the journey is fairly magnificent -- out of Westkapelle along a dike above the beach, a sand hiking trail alongside it. The beach is broad here, sections divided by rows of log posts. Families take their cars to the edge and set up chairs right by their vehicles. I passed a classic barber shop-striped lighthouse. Now I will follow the coast up to Domburg.